Tuesday 21 October 2014

Hillary Clinton: I care deeply about what happens in Northern Ireland

Anita McSorley

Published 04/07/2014 | 11:39

Hillary Clinton said that she cares deeply about what happens in Northern Ireland, saying she hopes everyone can live in “peace and reconciliation.”

Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1 this morning, the former US First Lady spoke about keeping a close eye on Irish politics, serving as Secretary of State under Barack Obama and her Presidential ambitions.

Mrs Clinton revealed that she keeps a close eye on Irish politics, both North and South.

“I keep a close eye and I care deeply about what happens in Northern Ireland, as does my husband. He was there recently a few months ago. They have accomplished so much. There are always obstacles in the way when trying to achieve the goals which everyone hopes for to live in peace and reconciliation.”

But when asked about her thoughts on Sinn Fein going into government in the South, she said she has enough of a challenge dealing with American politics.

“I’m not going to comment on internal Irish politics. I have enough of a challenge dealing with American politics. In any democracy people can vote and once those votes are counted the result falls on those who were voted for,” she said.

The US Senator also spoke about overcoming her rivalry with US President Barack Obama to become friends having accepted the offer to serve as Secretary of State under Obama in November 2008.

“I had no indication from him that he was thinking about... it was a surprise to me that he was so intent on persuading me to be Secretary of State.

“It was a hard choice for me. I had loved my work in the Senate and had gone through a lot with the people in New York, such as 9/11 and the financial crisis... I was hesitant.

“I was particularly pleased that on becoming Secretary of State I was very welcomed by the people I was campaigning against just a few months before,” she said.

The 66-year-old added that overcoming her rivalry with Obama was a good example of democracy.

“I found I could use my experience campaigning against him to explain that in a democracy you have to close ranks and work with each other. In some countries you could have got killed for being offered Secretary of State, so I use it as an example for new and developing democracies to work with,” said Mrs Clinton.

Instead of celebrating America’s birthday at home, Mrs Clinton is spending today in the UK promoting her new book ‘Hard Choices’.

Security was heightened at airports ahead of the 4th of July celebrations in response to warnings of a terrorist threat. She thinks this was necessary.

“If you saw those burning towers, if you were down in ground zero the day after... I think we face ongoing threats and dangers in the world. We have to remain extra vigilant and civilised countries have to work together to deter such a threat and eliminate it,” she said.

Mrs Clinton is expected to run for US Presidency in 2016, although she remained tight-lipped this morning.

“I’m very honoured by the energy and enthusiasm that people are putting into persuading and encouraging me to make the decision. The question is not “Will you run?” or “Can you win?” but it’s your vision for the country and how you expect it to get there.

“At the end of the day I think I know as much as anybody about the demands of presidency having my husband there and working with Obama and going through 9/11 with the Bush administration. I just have to make my mind up about what’s the best decision for me and for the rest of the country,” said Mrs Clinton.

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